We’ve lost Carol Lynley, actress of 60s & 70s film and television. Carol was born Carol Anne Jones on Feb. 13, 1942 in New York City. Lynley worked as a model and in television from her teen years and performed on numerous early live dramatic television shows.
She suffered a heart attack on September 3rd at the age of 77. Perhaps she is best known for her role in the disaster epic The Poseidon Adventure (1972) playing Nonnie, the bright-eyed nymph on the doomed ocean liner turned upside down after a giant tidal wave hits the ship on New Year’s Eve. The Poseidon Adventure launched her into the public consciousness after Lynley lip synced over Maureen McGovern’s singing onscreen, as the ill-fated ship’s lead singer of the band, her brother flaunting his bad 70s hair and mutton chops at the piano. The song “The Morning After,” went on to win the 1973 Oscar for Best Song.
I’ve always been taken with Carol Lynley for many other roles along her diverse career. A child model who made it to the cover of Life magazine at age 15. After appearing in the 1958 Broadway play, she delivered a moving performance in the controversial screen version of Blue Denim in 1959, co-starring cutie Brandon De Wilde. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer! She then co-starred with Clifton Webb and Jane Wyman in Holiday For Lovers (1959).
Afterward she appeared in a variety of popular films, Return to Peyton Place (1961), and Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) with Jack Lemmon. Carol Lynley appeared in the Otto Preminger film The Cardinal (1963). She was also in The Stripper (1963), and Shock Treatment (1964) where she plays a very disturbed young girl with hyper-sexual tendencies. In the same year she played Maggie Williams in The Pleasure Seekers. Lynley also took the role of Jean Harlow in the biopic Harlow (1965).
Carol Lynley in The Stripper (1963)
Carol Lynley and Gene Tierney in The Pleasure Seekers (1964)
Carol Lynley as Harlow
As Ann Lake she is superb playing a mother who claims her little girl vanishes after a day at school. Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing (1965), is one of my favorite psychological thrillers partly due in part to Lynley’s ability to show her growing paranoia. She also appeared in the very dark and twisted The Shuttered Room (1965) co-starring Oliver Reed and Gig Young based on a story by horror writer August Derleth.
She was in Once You Kiss a Stranger… (1969)
In the pilot episode that launched the iconic television series The Night Stalker (1972), the cult chiller directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, I adore Lynely as the character of Gail Foster, who was portrayed as the girlfriend of Darren McGavin’s journalist of the bizarre and the occult. As the stalwart reporter investigating the uncanny and supernatural, Carl Kolchak, often puts Gail through the wringer. This groundbreaking classic television series developed by Dan Curtis went on to inspire popular shows like “The X Files”.
Carol Lynley appeared in various television shows, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, It Takes a Thief, Night Gallery, The Invaders, Kojak, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Journey to the Unknown, The Sixth Sense, The Magician, The Evil Touch, Quincy M.E. and Police Woman, just to mention my favorites.
Vince Edwards and Carol Lynley in Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) episode The Young One
Christopher Walken and Carol Lynley in Kojak 1973
Carol Lynley possessed a certain kind of rare beauty and inner light, a subtle essence of fairy in her smile and soft glimmer in her eyes.
This is your EverLovin Joey saying goodbye Carol Lynley, gone but not forgotten. There will always be a morning after and my eternal love for you, beautiful girl.